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Building the body and feeding the soul

by Anthea Ayebaze | Oct 10, 2016

Our work at Manchester today is to build the body and feed the soul.

Building the body means more effectively serving our students, growing our enrollments, strengthening our programs, drawing new resources and staying competitive in a difficult and changing marketplace.

Feeding the soul means advancing our mission, providing opportunities for our students to become graduates of ability and conviction, fostering community on and across our campuses, and leading in ways that are distinctively Manchester.

Sometimes we accomplish both with a single action. An example is the new Intercultural Center we are planning to put at College Avenue and East Street. In April the Board of Trustees approved our plan to build a new structure to replace the current Intercultural Center, located in an old house across from the Administration Building. They quickly challenged us, though, to think bigger, to have the space reflect, in form and function, our commitment to inclusion and to serve as a focal point for those efforts in the community and region.

So now our plans include a large, round gathering space, approximately 50 feet in diameter and nearly 2,000 square feet in area. I’ve described this room, this setting, as a community space, a sacred space, where we can step away from the incivility of the world around us and learn from our differences. When it is completed, we will invite our neighbors in northeast Indiana to join us for these important conversations, grounded in the infinite worth of every person and aiming to make the world a better place for everyone.